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Indiana R&E optical network to expand

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  • From: "Moore, Gregory" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Indiana R&E optical network to expand
  • Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 12:46:47 -0500
  • Disposition-notification-to: "Moore, Gregory" <>

I-Light2 gets go-ahead

INDIANAPOLIS (November 1, 2005) - Governor Mitch Daniels announced today
that the I-Light2 optical fiber network project will be extended to the
state's colleges and universities to support their research and
education programs.

The governor, through the Department of Information Technology, reviewed
the I-Light2 project for its fiscal implications for the state. Funding
authorized by the Indiana General Assembly for I-Light2 supports
extension of the optical fiber network beyond Purdue University and
Indiana University, the two original I-Light participants.

"I have agreed to 'light' or turn on the fiber connections linking
colleges and universities in Indiana because I believe that creating
this super high-speed network will lead to greater advancements for our
institutions of higher learning," said Governor Daniels. "I-Light2 will
be preserved for the exclusive use of higher education. State government
will not become a competitor to private sector companies which provide
broadband Internet connections to Hoosiers."

I-Light2 is a series of leases (irredeemable rights of usage or IRUs)
acquired by the state from private fiber optic network providers. These
leases, which are managed by the Office of Management and Budget, along
with the funds necessary to complete the network, will be provided to
Indiana and Purdue, which will manage the network on behalf of the other
colleges and universities in the state. It is expected that IU and
Purdue will work with the Indiana Higher Education Telecommunications
System (IHETS) to implement the network.

The state will create a memorandum of understanding between the
universities and the state to ensure appropriate network access to all
members and limit use to the stated purposes of research and education
within the member institutions.

"This super-fast network will enable IU to maintain its position as a
national leader in high-speed networking and will greatly assist us in
seeking additional federal grant and contract support for our research
efforts," said IU Vice President for Research and Information Technology
Michael McRobbie. "The issue of broadband access in Indiana more
generally is on such a scale that it can only realistically be addressed
by the private sector."

Purdue University's vice president for information technology and CIO
James R. Bottum, says all institutions of higher education in the state
of Indiana should benefit from the implementation of ILight2. "The
administration is showing vision for the future and should be commended
on its decision to move this project forward," Bottum says. "With the
lighting of the I-Light2 fiber, the distances between campuses in
Indiana drops to almost nothing with regard to sharing educational
resources and scientific data. I-Light2 will clearly benefit students at
Indiana colleges and universities because it will provide the foundation
to share educational resources. It will also make our scientific and
engineering research more collaborative and efficient."

The original I-Light initiative, completed in 2001, cost about $6
million and was the first university-owned optical fiber network of its
kind in the country. It connected supercomputers at IU-Bloomington,
IUPUI in Indianapolis and Purdue.

In 2004, the legislature, led by Senator David Ford of Hartford City,
authorized the state to spend $10 million to expand the I-Light network
to other universities.

"We think it makes more sense to give the fiber network leases to IU and
Purdue to manage on behalf of the other colleges and universities,
rather than having the state involved directly," said Karl Browning, the
state's chief information officer. "I-Light2 is really an enabler for
advanced and sophisticated research and applications in higher
education, so it is appropriate for them to manage the network and
assume responsibility for its future costs."

Media Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

  • Indiana R&E optical network to expand, Moore, Gregory, 11/02/2005

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